Sports ovals are a demanding environment for any turfgrass. They are subject to continual high use throughout the year with particular pressure being applied to the surface during winter when cold conditions slow the growth of most warm season turf varieties.

For first class ovals, cool season grasses such as rye grass are typically over-sown into a warm season grass such as couch during autumn to give better wear resistance and color during winter. This annual over-seeding is an expensive and time consuming activity.

On lower grade playing surfaces over-sowing may not be an option and in this case surfaces turn to mud during winter and become unsafe to play on.

LVillage Green is a highly winter active kikuyu with a deep green color giving a high wearing playing surface throughout the winter without the need for overseeding with ryegrass. (this applies to coastal locations from Carnarvon around Melbourne to SE Queensland).

Village Green Comparison

The main warm season turf types used on sports ovals and public open space are couch and kikuyu. Kikuyu is often classed as a poor cousin to couch for use on club level ovals. But with the advent of Village Green and its superior winter activity this has now changed. See below a table comparing the attributes of Village Green compared with couch and kikuyu.

Winter Color and Activity Wear Tolerance Weed Competition

Drought Tolerance

Fertilizer Requirement  Renovation Tolerance

Mowing Requirement

Shade Tolerance

Village Green

Green and active all year round

High year round due to winter activity

High due to density

Good due to rhizomes/ root system

Low due to extensive root system

Handles heavy renovations due to rhizomes

Use reel or rotary mower

Couch

Can go dormant in winter

Low in winter

Can be low due to winter dormancy

High to maintain acceptable color

Best with a reel mower

Common Kikuyu

Not as winter active as Village Green

Not as winter active as Village Green

Not as winter active as Village Green

Less extensive root/rhizome system

Less extensive root/rhizome system

Less extensive root/rhizome system

Village Green is suited to growing in areas across Southern Australia but is not suited to the tropics. It is best suited to sites that receive more than an average of 4 hrs sunlight per day.

Couch Comparison

Compared to couch Village Green is a superior alternative:

Couch is dormant during winter, Village Green is actively growing

Winter dormancy plus wear allows weeds to grow

Couch requires more fertilizer

Couch produces unsightly seed heads

Couch is difficult to get out of garden beds

Kikuyu Comparison

When compared to kikuyu Village Green outperforms:

Dark green color

More winter active

More attractive and higher performance

To quantify the advantage Village Green has over common types of Kikuyu, measurements of stolon thickness, internode length and root volume were taken and compared. The results in the table below speak for themselves.

Maintenance

Coming soon

Case Study's

Sustainable Sports Surface Gets Tick Of Approval – City Of Armadale, Perth, WA

“After it was laid, I was immediately impressed with how quickly the turf established during winter, its rich green color and strong growth.”

First impressions are important and Village Green impressed Anton Lees, Manager Parks and Gardens, City of Armadale, Perth so much he’s given it the tick of approval so far. Anton first came across the hardy variety at a field day at Greenacres Turf Farm during November 2009. This was enough to convince him;

“It is a new product, looks great and seems to have the sustainability credentials to take us into the 21st century”.

Guilford Grammar, Rugby Oval, Guilford, Perth

An opportunity to try Village Green presented itself earlier this year on a new three-hectare sports oval in Armadale, a southern suburb of Perth.
“We awarded the contract during March and it was laid during May, just before winter,” Anton explained.

As yet the turf has not been put to the high-traffic test with Anton keen to give the surface time to settle in while further redevelopment continues.

“I am keen to wait until the completion of all the facilities at Frye Park and for the sub-soil to settle before we hold sporting events on the turf,” he said.

But so far, so good, and the future looks promising for Village Green at other sites across the City according to Anton.

Sportsfield Facelift Provides Drought-Proof Surface – Lebanon Reserve, Strathmore, Melbourne, Vic

Established during the 1960s Lebanon Reserve, Strathmore, Victoria underwent reconstruction during 2009.

Consisting of a football and cricket oval the club’s fields hadn’t been resurfaced since 1983. The decision was made to reconstruct the ground, with a view to providing a drought-tolerant surface that would tolerate more wear across several sporting disciplines.

“We started work during March 2009,” Bruce Stephens, Anco Turf said.
“The turf was line planted during May and we managed the surface through to November.”

“We initially watered the turf with overhead irrigation during the grow-in period (3–4 weeks) and when it had taken root we used the sub surface irrigation.”

With most varieties requiring up to five megalitres to get established during summer, Village Green has excelled in the water-use stakes achieving strong establishment over winter with only two megalitres used to achieve a full cover.

Successful establishment has seen the club host the Victorian launch of Village Green during November and welcome the 2009/2010 cricket season without delay.

“The turf is fantastic,” Bruce said “And it hardly gets any water — which was the ultimate aim of the project.”

“The roots are already down about 600mm.”

“The surface is mown each Monday with a stealth mower and again with a cylinder mower prior to cricket on the weekend.”

Further planned irrigation reduction will reduce growth and the second weekly mowing will not be required.

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